Jessica Danielle Powell's English 170W Blog
The Long Development of a Short Story.
Steps for a Semiotician
Posted on October 26th, 2011 at 6:36 pm by Jessica Danielle Powell and


Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

‘Relationship: Text to Man and Man to Text

Understand that a poem is not a poem its is what it is made out of. A poem [words] are not only words.

  1. Read the text quietly and record changes in your sensory responses
  2. Read the text aloud and record changes in your sensory responses
  3. Identify the words that created the most change in your sensory response.
    1. Would you be able to obtain that response if you replaced one of the words in the poem? Why or why not?
    2. The words that created the most change in sensory response break down the word into:
      1. Sign
      2. Signified [Concept]
      3. Signifier [Sound Image]
What a Semiotician would say:
These steps are adequate but there are other things to have the reader focus on. What about the nature of the signifier’s in the poem and the value of the words used in the poem? And what are the differences between the words use in the poem related to sensory reactions?
These steps are adequate to interpret Sonnet 65.
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Comments so far:

Link Here | October 26, 2011,

interesting! This is a very hands-on (or voices-on?) approach. I wonder what you mean by “sensory responses”–is it just literally the 5 senses, or do you mean also something about emotional response?

  Kevin L. Ferguson |

Link Here | October 26, 2011,

I believe that the five senses are triggered by emotional responses so they go hand in hand.

Yeahh its a voice on approach lol.

  Jessica Danielle Powell |

Link Here | October 26, 2011,

By “sensory response” do you mean our …I guess, “primal” reaction and interpretation of the poem? I like your steps, they’re easy to follow and very chronological, kind of like Saussure’s emphasis on language being linear. My steps jumped around a bit, I think.

  sasha |

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